AI can detect cracks in the road, such as this one, Source: Depositphotos

Helsingborg garbage trucks monitor road potholes with the help of AI

Helsingborg garbage trucks monitor road potholes with the help of AI

Optimizing all those street trips done daily

Artificial Intelligence is set to be the buzzword of 2023, what with transformational new software making its debut and threatening to revamp digital work. That being said, AI application in all walks of life has already been a fact of life for years now, even in contexts that one might find unexpected.

Case in point is Helsingborg’s municipal waste management company, which has been using AI assistance in its work for the past year and a half. However, the robotized helper has not been involved in garbage collection, but rather in monitoring the city’s streets and whether they need to be patched up.

AI cameras have been installed behind the windshield of the garbage trucks. The cameras detect holes in the roads as well as missing traffic signs, among other things.

We have also been using it to see if the street has been swept, if there is water or snow on the road and if the vegetation is growing over the pavement,” explains Andréas Hall, development engineer at the city of Helsingborg, as quoted by SVT.

Fusion of waste and road management

You see, mapping the streets of the Swedish city in order to keep an updated database took up to a year before the application of the new technology, and now it only takes two weeks.

The garbage trucks do their daily rounds around the city anyway and now they also serve as mapping vehicles, saving emissions in the process and cutting unnecessary traffic. And of course, it saves the municipality money – the cost of mapping has shrunk by 80 percent.

In Helsingborg alone, there are roughly 60 miles of road and half as many miles of cycling paths that may be next in line.

We have to look at how the same technology can be used in other ways. If we look at the cycling path network, we have about 30 miles of cycle paths and it is a difficulty to get on them,” added Mr. Hall.

The pioneering AI ​​technology will now be tested in several other cities in Sweden as well.



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